A revenue estimating conference held Friday in Florida performed a fiscal review of the gaming bills coming before the House and Senate, which includes decoupling horse racing from gaming. According to Nancy Smith of sunshinestatenews.com, the panelists failed to examine the impact that decoupling would have on the state's horse racing industry.
“It was an entirely one-dimensional exercise,” wrote Smith. While the team led by economist Amy Baker took an in-depth look at the $3 billion Seminole gaming compact, that analysis failed to address the impact that the legislation would have on Florida's horse racing industry. “Apparently,” continued Smith, “not the Governor's Office nor the Senate nor the House leadership ever entertained the possibility that the horse racing industry could be more valuable to Florida than slots, casinos and cardrooms.”
The United Florida Horsemen released the following statement after the conference: “As Florida economists discussed decoupling this morning, Florida horsemen remind our policymakers that real business, jobs, and lives are at stake. No slot machine can contribute the broad economic value of a horse, from breeding and green space, to the labor intensity of horse care, to the money returned to Florida's economy through horse racing. In listening to today's projections of slot-machine revenue riches, it's easy to forget that money still comes out of real people's pockets.”
Read more at sunshinestatenews.com.
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